Stage 2: Gonal-F

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We are one step further with our treatment, we started with the Gonal-F pen yesterday evening. So for the next week I am taking 2 injections every evening. We continue with Suprecur at a lower dose (0.3mg) to prevent spontanous ovulation – don’t want those eggs hatch too early –  and we inject the Gonal-F to stimulate my ovaries so they produce lots of beautiful, perfect follicles.

I think this is the freakiest part actually, in a normal cycle a woman produces one follicle that contains one egg. In my case, we are trying to produce as many as we can so they can then be harvested. So if you ever though of yourself being a cow, because you are giving milk, add chicken to the list for all those eggs.

What does it do?

Gonal-F is an easy to use, prefilled injection pen that contains the Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

FSH stimulates the growth and recruitment of immature ovarian follicles in the ovary. – Wikipedia, FSH

So we are making sure lots of follicles are growing from the existing antral follicles (there are loads of them in deep sleep for the years to come) available in the ovaries. We are still surpressing the actual ovulation until a scan confirms that enough follicles are at the right size. Once we have a number a follicles that have the full potential for a viable egg, another shot of hCG will be given to mature the eggs and trigger ovulation 36 hours later. But we are not quite there yet, so patience please!

What are the risks?

Normal side effects are stomach pain, bloating, headaches (yay – more of those) and nausea. The side effect we don’t want is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) which happens when too many follicles are growing at the same time. This can potentially be life threatenning but we should be safe with regular scans from day 7 onwards.

So there you have it. Egg collection is less than 2 weeks away now. Bloody hell, time had whizzed past. For now, I am hoping to have an uneventful week. At this point my energy is already lower than usual, I am more tired and the headaches don’t really go away anymore. I am having another shiatsu massage today for a bit or relaxation, looking forward to that.

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